Creative Work

Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is Awesome

FearNet has a nice post on Abe Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. Here’s my favorite bit:

– This movie puts vampires back where they belong, and that’s as bad guys and not    heartthrobs; who should be beheaded with an axe and not kissed by tweens. That’s what you can expect. Badass vampires getting treated like the killers that they are.

I can’t tell you how awesome working on this one is. By far it’s the most creative and enjoyable project I’ve worked on in years. It’s a really fun film.

From filmofilia:

Vampires. Axes. Lincoln. What's not to love?

“Visionary filmmakers Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov (director of Wanted) bring a fresh and visceral voice to the blood-thirsty lore of the vampire, imagining Lincoln as history’s greatest hunter of the undead.” 

Starring Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Anthony Mackie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jimmi Simpson, Robin McLeavy, Alan Tudyk and Rufus Sewell.

If you want to see more cool official pics from the film, try this article at bestmoviesever. Good stuff!

Coming soon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7krwq5hZPY0&feature=youtubegdataplayer

Update: It’s out, but Disney marketing seems to have melted down and the result has been poor box office returns. A pity, because it’s actually quite fun and well worth a watch. Seriously, it’s a good film – watch and see for yourself. :D

Garman posts some thoughts about dailies

Garman Herigstad once gave me a slew of advice years ago, and every bit of it has proven useful to me over the years. So when he voices an opinion, I listen. Such is the case in his most recent blog post where he discusses dailies.

Dalies are at the heart of VFX. It’s where artists get feedback and develop their eye. It’s where production is kept on track. It’s also where seniors develop opinions on their artists, where directors evaluate their teams, and where critical choices are made.

My best advice for artists attending dailies for the first time is to be quiet and pay full attention. Take notes, as Garman suggests. Keep your mouth shut unless your input is needed or asked for. Never lie, never try to spin anything, never be defensive or explanatory – just listen to the instructions that are given, ask questions if anything is unclear, and be professional.

20120107-100501.jpgThe people evaluating the work are almost always aware of issues or concerns an individual artist is not exposed to – a VFX sup may be thinking about continuity with other shots, upcoming changes, or criteria passed down from a director. The leadership attending or running the dailies may also not have much time, or the viewing theatre may have other teams waiting, so the general rule is to let the person(s) making decisions quickly and accurately evaluate what they are being shown, make a decision, and convey that decision as directives for action.

And always, always as an artist address the notes you are given. The people giving notes remember what they ask for, and nothing infuriates a director or VFX sup more than to give the same notes over and over. If you are dialing in towards a result, ie if the notes are on the order of “more” or “less,” that’s ok. But if the notes keep coming back as “where’s the fix?” then you are probably pissing someone off.

Anyway, it’s a good read, on an important subject, from a knowledgable source worth listening to.

New gig…

So I’ve picked up a position as VFX Supervisor at StereoD, a company which started in 2009 doing stereoconversion and which in less than 3 years has grown to a leading edge studio of over 600 artists and growing.

 

 

The visual effects department is new, having risen from a small group of artists who performed miscellaneous visual effects as needed to enhance or fill out the stereo process, and my job as I see it is to lay a foundation for growth given the large demand for services we’re encountering. The effects vary from show to show, from environmental and supportive effects (snow, rain, smoke, fog etc) to more unusual effects, some of which are only possible in the realm of stereo.

 

Challenging, and a lot of fun. When I first arrived at StereoD I was staggered by the number of shows they are running concurrently, below are just a few, in no particular order. If you’re an experienced visual effects artist and are looking for a place that is growing and evolving and has work on some of the largest and most advanced films being created, StereoD should definitely be on your radar. And most amazing of all? Unlike some places (cough) the VFX dept at StereoD is already showing profit and has more requests for work than we can accommodate…. ;)

 

ICE Terrain Project

My personal project of creating a series of nodes useful for terrain generation in Softimage ICE is going well. Here’s a terrain made with two of the compounds, and is based on a pyroclastic noise with slope suppression followed by 24 iterations of a compound implementing a fast hydraulic erosion scheme I’m playing with. There is some tendency of the erosion to create bands where edges flow in an even grid due to my use of Von Neumann sampling in the erosion routine, which is fast but I may have to add an option to take a speed hit and sample more thoroughly. After this I will implement a more thorough and more traditional hydraulic erosion scheme and compare the two.

 

Vimeo iOS app now available

This is an FYI for you iPhone and iPad2 users – vimeo now has a free app supporting their site, which allows very basic video editing, submission, and account management.

(If you aren’t a vimeo user, what is it you ask? Vimeo is a bit like youtube, it’s a free video sharing site, but it’s more targeted towards creatives and professionals. Most of the videos on my site are hosted at vimeo.)

The down side: if your device has no camera, you can’t use the app. Meaning original iPad owners are left out. This is pretty dumb. Just because the device doesn’t have a camera doesn’t mean you don’t have footage on it.

Case in point – a vimeo member takes their iPad, a camera and the camera connection kit (in a day pack, perhaps) to some photogenic place. User shoots some gorgeous footage (with something a lot nicer than a craptastic phone camera) which they want to upload… maybe to be reviewed while they are still on location, or for a family member to see, whatever. So they use the camera connection kit to load it to their pad, select the shots they want to share and then pointedly don’t edit and load the results to vimeo… they can’t

Fail!

But still, it’s nice that there’s an app for the iPhone. Cheers.

Deep in production…

I haven’t posted for a while, I’ve been doing a lot of projects and my attention has been elsewhere. And annoyingly, most of the things I’ve been working on aren’t in the public eye yet, so I can’t show much. To make up for it, here are some simple iphone image from one of the studios I’ve been contracting at, Janimation. Nice folks, and they have a beautiful studio.